Bathroom Storage Revamped & A Shelf Tutorial

Hello again,

So in my last post, I showed you the shelf in our bathroom that I built to hold our bath towels and toiletries.  If you missed it you can read about it here. Now that are baby is into everything, I had to get rid of the shelf and design something that is out of his reach completely.  I decided to have my husband build some very basic over the toilet shelves to store towels, cotton balls, extra toilet paper, travel size containers, razors, etc.  I chose to do some over the toilet shelves because they were out of the way of the baby and we had the perfect blank wall space above the toilet that could be utilized for storage.  Here are a few pictures of the finished product and a tutorial of how we built them below...


Paint materials 

Boards for shelves

I have to start out by saying ANYONE can build these shelves as long as you know how to work a drill, a small saw, and have a little muscle & the right screws.  *side note, if you are uncomfortable using a saw or just don't have the time, Lowe's or Home Depot will cut wood for you as long as you have the dimensions that you need on hand*
First, we cut the 3/4"x 2" boards (the ones that would need to be driven into the wall and support the depth of the shelves) to the correct dimensions.  You know what they say "measure twice cut once", so measure carefully!!  The space above our toilet where the shelves were to be installed is 16" deep by 35" wide.  So since the depth was 16" and we needed 2- 3/4" x 2" boards per shelf to drive into the wall to hold the shelves up, we cut 8 boards to be 16" long each.  (4 per shelf-2 on each side)  See picture below...
These are the boards we cut to be each 16" long.  These fit directly under the shelf and were driven into the wall. *Reminder our wall was 16" deep*
*sidenote- these were originally raw pine and I painted them to look this way which I will explain how to achieve this look below.  I didn't take pictures of them before I painted them :( 
This is a close up of only 6 of them but I'm including this picture to be clear about which boards I'm talking about.  There were 8 total. 

Then, we cut the big shelving boards to be 35" long.  My husband was able to find some pre-cut boards that were the perfect width (16") for our space so we didn't have to cut down the width at all.

After cutting your wood to the proper dimensions, you will need to stain or paint the wood to its desired look before installing the shelves.  I wanted a distressed wood/Restoration Hardware look so I  used grey stain with a dark glaze on top.  First, I stained all of our wood pieces with Vanathane woods stain in "weathered gray".  When I first started, I was very discouraged by the look of the wood.  It looked like I had taken gray spray paint and sprayed the entire piece of wood.  But after a few strokes of the paint, I figured out that if I watered the stain down it gave more of the look I was going for.  So, once I got the consistency of the stain to water ratio correct, this is what my boards looked like after 1 layer of stain....

you can tell in this picture where I started with the heavier stain and it created the "spray paint" look

Depending on the look you want, you just have to play with the water to stain ratio until you achieve what you want.  I let each board dry completely overnight then applied a healthy amount of Cypress Umber Dark Glaze at 4mg by CeCe Caldwell's Paint straight over the top of the stain with an Annie Sloan brush.  Again, I had to add more glaze to certain areas and less to others to achieve the look I wanted. ( I did not dilute the glaze with water though!) Then I let the glaze dry overnight before we installed the shelving.

After I finished painting the boards, we drew on the wall to mark exactly where the shelves were going to go.  Since we were doing this above a toilet, we had to make sure to get the starting point for the bottom shelf at exactly the right height so that no one would bump their head every time they stood up from the toilet!  (so if you are building these shelves over a toilet, have the tallest person in your house sit down and stand up over the toilet and mark a comfortable level where they will not injure themselves)  Next, we used a bubble level to mark straight lines around the walls where the shelves were going to go.  Then, my husband screwed in 2 drywall anchors per board to the wall, evenly spaced out where the support boards would be attached to the walls via screws.  Then he placed the boards on top of the drywall anchors and marked the spots on the boards where the screws were going to go.  After he marked them, he took his paddle bit and drilled small holes into the boards deep enough to conceal the head of the screws.  Then he mounted the support boards to the wall by screwing the screws through the boards and into the drywall anchors.

Reminder: there are 2 -3/4" x 2"boards here that these screws are holding onto the wall

Next, we placed the big shelf boards on top of both sets of support boards.

Lastly, to cover the screw holes in the support boards and make the front of the shelves more appealing to the eye, we took a 3/4x2" facia board and mounted it to the front of each shelf using dowels and wood glue.  The top of this board should be flush with the top of the shelf.   (To insert a dowel in the facia board and shelf, drill matching holes in both the facia board and shelf that line up in order for the dowel to hold the facia board in place.  Secure with wood glue and hammer into place using a rubber mallet or a hammer with a wood block) Wipe up access wood glue with a wet sponge or rag.  (if you have trouble getting your facia board to stay in place while the wood glue is drying you can use clamps.

"facia board"

And that's how we built our new bathroom shelves!  These 2 deep shelves hold everything that we use to store on the old, tall, 5 level shelf!  Here is one last picture of the finished product!

I hope you are finding it easy and enjoyable getting organized in 2015!  I plan to be back tomorrow with a kitchen table makeover that I've been working on. 

Remember, when life hands you lemons, turn them into something lovely!

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